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Vettel beginning to believe in title

Sebastian Vettel all but admits that it will be hard for him to lose a third F1 world championship title after preserving a double-figure point advantage in Abu Dhabi.
Sebastian Vettel is beginning to believe that he has all but sealed a third F1 world championship, and admits that it would be nice to wrap it up at his 100th grand prix.

The German appeared to have allowed main rival Fernando Alonso a glimpse of a reprieve when he stopped on track at the end of qualifying on Saturday evening. The ensuing technical checks failed to provide an adequate fuel sample for the scrutineers and Vettel was put to the back of the grid. After opting to start from the pit-lane following a series of set-up changes, the Red Bull came scorching through the field, eventually claiming third place, one spot behind Alonso.

What began as a damage limitation exercise resulted in just a three-point cut in Vettel's championship advantage, leaving him ten ahead with two rounds remaining, and, on the podium, the German gave the first acknowledgement that the title is his for the taking.

“Obviously, we see how quickly things can change,” he insisted, “Yesterday was a surprise for us and, [had] we have started from third, it would have been a different race. But, yeah, it was obviously a chance to f*ck it up and we didn't do that, so I think we can be very proud today - we got the maximum.

“We lost only a very little bit, I think we have the momentum still, the car is bloody quick, so we're looking forward to the next two races. We are definitely believing in [the title] and that's the target.”

Confident in the car beneath him, and the team guiding him from the pit-wall, Vettel maintained that he always felt that he could make the top three, despite not getting into the race until after the field had cleared turn one.

“After the first couple of laps, that target was drifting a little bit away, as I had a messy start to the race [and] damaged my front wing,” he reflected, “And then, [behind] the safety car, I had a little bit of a big mistake with Daniel [Ricciardo], who was stopping his car on the straights.

“I turned to the right and, if it would have been 50m earlier [or] 50m later, I wouldn't have done damage to my front wing further but, after that, I said to myself 'yeah, either we go full attack or nothing'. So that's what we did and I had a fantastic race. It's hard enough to fight your way once through the field, but we did it twice today…”



“Obviously the safety cars here and there helped and, after that, at the end it was a nice fight with Jenson. He was difficult to pass. I expected to have a little bit easier time because obviously I was passing the slower cars before and, with him, I was struggling a bit. Then I just squeezed my way past into turn eleven, and it's very nice to pick up a trophy and drink some champagne.”





Related Pictures

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Free Practice 3: Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
Qualifying: Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
Free Practice 2: Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
Free Practice 2: Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
Podium: Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 (3rd position)
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
17.04.2014- Press Conference,  Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
17.04.2014- Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
17.04.2014- Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
17.04.2014- Red Bull RB10 tech details
17.04.2014- Red Bull RB10 tech details
17.04.2014- Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
17.04.2014- Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10

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Kevin - Unregistered

November 05, 2012 3:09 PM

Taking the post race interviews at anything but face value is a big mistake. Vettel fought one of the hardest, and likely most frightening, races of his career and was obviously coming off an adrenalin high. In that state, drivers say things they are not even fully conscious or in control of (language slips for example with both Seb and Kimi). The podium interviews are idiotic in this sense, leaving no time for drivers to calm down and refresh. All diminishment of Seb aside, he's proven to be Alonso's equal, popular or not.



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